A new photograph of Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), one of the accused masterminds of 9/11, surfaced on the internet on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reports. The photograph, which shows KSM clutching prayer beads and kneeling on the ground, appeared just days before the anniversary of the attacks.
The photo of Mohammed, on his knees as if preparing for prayer but staring straight into the camera, is the first public picture of the alleged arch-terrorist since his widely circulated capture photo -- showing him pulled from his bed in a torn T-shirt, with messy hair and in need of a shave. Pakistani security forces in Rawalpindi took that image at his March 2003 arrest and then turned him over to the CIA for interrogations that reportedly included 183 episodes of waterboarding to get him to spill al Qaeda secrets.
The image of KSM, who is the most high-profile detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, was taken in July by the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to the Miami Herald.
MSNBC reports that the photo first appeared on two Arabic sites sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
"He looks like he's in great health," [Jarret Brachman, a counter-terror researcher at North Dakota State University,] told msnbc.com. A university colleague, Leah Farrall, first discovered the posting and forwarded it to Brachman, who spent days authenticating the image.
"We have vastly underestimated what this guy is capable of. He is biding his time," Brachman said. "He is waiting and he knows he will have his day."